Nwam LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,413 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 524 shares during the period. Nwam LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $485,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Accredited Investors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 9,125 shares of the company’s stock valued at $483,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. M. Kraus & Co boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. M. Kraus & Co now owns 8,560 shares of the company’s stock worth $492,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Thomaspartners Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 9,024 shares of the company’s stock worth $477,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Vicus Capital boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 11,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $588,000 after buying an additional 37 shares during the period. Finally, Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management now owns 4,738 shares of the company’s stock worth $250,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. 72.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.99% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $61.94. 9,203,973 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.98 and a beta of 0.63. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $64.00. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $62.33 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.46.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of research reports. Barclays PLC increased their target price on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group increased their target price on Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 target price (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upgraded Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €63.31 ($70.34).
In other Merck & Co. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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